Carrie Singleton is just off a hot string of murder cases centered around the spooky local library in Clover Ridge, Connecticut. She could really use a break—but no such luck, as she, Smoky Joe, the resident cat, and Evelyn, the library’s ghost, are drawn into another tantalizing whodunit.
First, a dead body is found in the basement of the building attached to the library, and it turns out to be Carrie’s fiancé’s Uncle Alec, who Dylan hasn’t seen in years. But Alec has no intention of truly checking out, and his ghost makes itself at home in the library, greatly upsetting the patrons. Carrie and Evelyn work hard to keep Alec out of sight, but what was he doing in Clover Ridge to begin with? And why was he killed?
Meanwhile, the town council, of which Carrie is also a member, is embroiled in a hot-headed debate over the fate of the Seabrook Preserve, a lovely and valuable piece of property that runs along Long Island Sound. Turn it into an upscale park? Sell it to a condo developer? Or keep it as protected land?
As the dispute rages, there’s another murder, this time involving a council member. Could the two murders be connected? And could Carrie be next on the hit list?
The Big Thrill caught up to author Allison Brook for a quick chat about the sixth installment of her A Haunted Library Mystery series, DEWEY DECIMATED:
What attracts you to this book’s genre?
I love the cozy mystery genre because it combines a mystery element with a small-town setting where characters know one another, and all sorts of escapades go on. Usually, pets are included as another cozy element. Because cozies are written in series, readers get to know and identify with characters. As an author, I love writing about my characters’ relationships and watching my protagonist grow and develop over the course of a series.
Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?
I loved the idea of having two ghosts in my book. I also was surprised by the murderers. They revealed themselves as I wrote the book.
What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?
I usually construct two plot lines that converge. In this case, I needed to bring in the characters, one of whom might have murdered the first victim, as well as the same characters, one of whom murdered the second. Also, did the same person murder both victims or were there two murderers?
A former Spanish teacher, Marilyn Levinson writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for kids. Her books have received many accolades. As Allison Brook, she writes the Haunted Library series. DEATH OVERDUE, the first in the series, was an Agatha nominee for Best Contemporary Novel in 2018. Other mysteries include the Golden Age of Mystery Book Club series, the Twin Lakes series, and Giving up the Ghost.
Her juvenile novel, Rufus and Magic Run Amok, was an International Reading Association-Children’s Book Council Children’s Choice. It will soon be reissued, followed by three more books in the series. And Don’t Bring Jeremy was a nominee for six state awards.
Marilyn lives on Long Island, where many of her books take place. She loves traveling, reading, doing crossword puzzles and Sudoku, and chatting on FaceTime with her grandkids.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.